School Work: Advice Government Agencies -Welfare to Work and JIT

welfare-employment-street-signThe welfare to work program, food stamps and other programs have been criticized. Mainly because of stereotypical thinking of a group and partly (also) because of systematic racism. Hence, for the purpose of this discussion, or rather to keep in line with the prompt of choice  to say the scenario consists of my leading a government agency compromised of one thousand employees who in their job description assists below poverty level families with no father in the home, single parent homes to see how that program is measuring up. In essence, performance measurement of the welfare to work program, and food stamps back to work initiatives.

Advice

Ask evaluation questions. According to Harell et al (n.d) a good performance measurement system should begin with clear evaluative questions. Hence, each department should ask those, or ask (a) did the program have the intended impact? -or- (b) did the program have the intended consequences? These two questions along support positive and or negative results (Harrell et al n.d).

Performance Monitoring. An important question to ask here concerning those adults who participate in the program (s) would be is there a significant number increase in adults who are successful. For example, one of the programs that support participants going back to work is the JIT program, or rather Just In Time Training. Hence, is there a significant increase of adults who enter the program to learn a particular skill that leave the welfare system?

Or rather, look at the fact that state agencies and or programs are being asked to reduce their caseloads. Hence, is Just in Time Training [sufficient] in helping people get back to work

In the graph we see that from the years 1994 to 2010 Families with Children in poverty has increased to 7 million families, however, the estimate of 7 million now includes jobless families with children with AFDC/TANF families at five million over previous years. These indicators reflect that now not only are there generational TANF recipients but also an added measure of people applying for benefits because of loss of employment. Subsequently, the premise here of those who are on welfare is significantly changed. Just in Time Training should give people new skills to return to workforce, or enter the workforce. Also, there is indication that in 2010 the participants in the TANF program dropped significantly to 2 million from 5 million in 1994. Is this because of the welfare to work program or something else?
Recent changes to the federal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) block grant place new pressures on states to reduce their welfare caseloads and increase the number of families participating in work activities or face financial penalties. At the same time, the new rules make it harder for states to design effective welfare-to-work programs, particularly for those recipients who face the greatest barriers to employment. This policy brief analyzes these challenges in the context of Texas’ welfare program and proposes a set of policy changes designed to help Texas meet the federal requirements while improving outcomes for welfare recipients (Center of public Policy Priorities, 2007).

Process Evaluation. These questions should ask how the program operates and documents procedures and activities. For example, are there workshops, mandatory participation even for those receiving unemployment benefits

And finally,

Cost Evaluation

How much does the program cost?

Related Articles

Evaluation Strategies for Human Services Programs| A Guide for Policymakers and Providers

 TANF Emerging from the Downturn a Weaker Safety Net

. A NEW WELFARE-TO-WORK APPROACH FOR 

United States Army Disabled Veteran, Sergeant Kericia E. Smith Faces Third Heartbreaking Trauma of Her Life

img_1132Many people, born and raised in the United States from an early age adhere to and are taught to pledge our allegiance to the flag, and ultimately our allegiance to America –the red, white and blue, that is, the bloodshed, or the honor and purity of white and of an unstained message; and, a color that results in the blue as like streaming tears that come, however, despite that scripture tell us to love our neighbors.

Our neighbors as those who reside here with us under God. One Nation undivided, in liberty and justice for all. Hence, it is a must that we all consider to look at this message with the question of how does it happen that bad things are a reality in a country so great as this?

How, is it the case, that my country does not have my back, or that, those who live here do not have my best interest and the interest of my family; or the interests of my neighbor at heart? How–can one still love their neighbor, or more specifically, how can my neighbor love me after this, that is, the trauma of the American Dream; and, we ask how does this massacre of U.S. citizenry happen?

Embracing Me as Her Journalist

Sergeant Kericia E. Smith said, “I think you should tell them why you decided to write this story,” and after thinking about it, or rather, after her prompting I have agreed to tell you her story sprinkled with my voice (together we will speak) so that those still asleep abiding in the American Dream can wake up to the travesties of life happening while you are sleeping? I accepted this story without too many reservations, because firstly as Americans we forget that to give does not come in the form of money only, especially when someone faces hardship reaching deep into their heart and soul. I have a heart and to believers, the scriptures tell us “Do not worry…”. Scriptures also tell us that we are to ‘bear one another’s burdens’.

Secondly, I have been trained well to understand that as a journalist I am called to be the proverbial ‘watchdog’ of the government and not only the government but those who connect with it to utilize law, and along with this understanding I see that the more professional journalists (some seemingly) care more about their bosses than a common cause among the people; however, I have no boss except the Most Highest God of this universe. Hence, the excuse is taken away of what will I eat or what I will wear.

Also, in this stance I as a writer, a mother, wife, grandmother and citizen take the pledge to uplift my neighbor in whichever way I can in honesty and fair dealing and I know that this is the Way, and, I believe scripture is true that He will provide. As a reward, I have been trained to help Sergeant Kericia E. Smith through this circumstance. In any case, I am more grateful in this instance that the Most High chose me to serve her. As a result, Sergeant Smith has created a new phrase calling me her ‘freestyle journalist’. It’s catchy would you agree?

We need you to look at this, and notably, this story is for anyone facing the trauma of inadequate care of yourself or a loved one in a hospital and or health care environment, and this message is also helpful for workers who see such horrendous events take place.

The Call for Help

I received a voicemail from Sergeant Kericia E. Smith, founder and CEO of the Association of Veteran Women, Incorporated [AOVW, Inc.] who (in short) explained that she needed a storyteller. Telling me, she was having some troubles, or rather, that she is having a few heartbreaking moments she wanted me to take a look at.

So I do not need to tell you how excited I was and unprepared for even this one. Subsequently, I learned she is named after her best friend pronounced [Ker (ee) sha], and they also share a birth month.

Sergeant Smith is an advocate for all women, but mainly for those women who have risked their life serving their country in the Armed Forces. Ultimately, a voice that until now has gone unheard, and, she is a miracle because I believe she is a groundbreaker and a trend setter for many who have lost hope. Hence, she fits the profile of a fighter, and she does not look like what she has been through. Thus, as divine connections happen she and I have worked diligently and have crafted a story that is beneficial for the public to know. However, before I move on, it is important that you know that Kericia initially called several journalists’, major newspapers and magazines to tell her story, but decidedly they were uninterested because there was no response. Kericia says, that someone told her to search out freelance journalists and she found my website The Dailey Grind where my motto is ‘Reporting what the news won’t.’  She told me, that she prayed and left a message, and I am the only one to respond to help her.

Therefore, I tell you Kericia this is it—the time is now and that God has prepared you for such a time as this! In the words of Ms. Shirley Chisolm, Kericia has decided that she is “Unbought and Unbossed!”  Essentially, she says “My misery has become my ministry!” I agree.

My Best Friend Died

I am Sergeant Kericia E. Smith. I am a disabled veteran diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder [PTSD], a trauma I acquired while on active duty. I was also my best friend’s primary caregiver, and is the reason why I want to tell you the story about my best friend who was admitted into Arlington Memorial Hospital for dehydration and a urinary tract infection, and who was later admitted to Kindred Rehabilitation Hospital for a bedsore. Moreover, in the process of admitting my best friend I was given admission papers to sign, but now in retrospect suspect there may have been a  Mandatory Binding Arbitration Clause. Nevertheless, I was never given a copy of any document I signed. However, in that case, what I do know is that my best friend was un-necessarily medicated to the point of a medically induced coma. As a result, they did not feed him, but without authorization inserted a feeding tube, gave him steroids and two blood thinners; along with, another drug that also causes bleeding.

In short, on May 16, 2016 at about 10:30 a.m., I walked into my best friend’s room and found him

img_1139

Custom Casket Spray

bleeding out severely, and all day long I begged the doctors and medical staff at Kindred Rehabilitation Hospital to transfer him to Arlington Memorial Hospital Emergency Room which is right across the street—they refused. Consequently, around 8:30 p.m., my best friend who was my father was unresponsive, and to my dismay there was no defibrillator available for them to attempt life-saving measures. Hence, my beloved father, a Medicare/Medicaid patient bleed-out and died.

To date, I have not been able to obtain my father’s death certificate because Kindred Rehabilitation Hospital has not filed or recorded it with the City of Arlington, or, Texas Department of Vital Statistics. I would also like to mention that Kloe my service dog was God sent and has done an outstanding job and has been a tremendous help throughout this ordeal—she saved me.

Please note, that if I had not fed my father and inserted a feeding tube, given him steroids, and if I had given two blood thinners; along with, another drug that causes bleeding and allowed him to bleed to death I would be in jail.  Needless to say, I am re-traumatized all over again, because (as mentioned) I was my father’s primary caregiver.  I witnessed my father’s death and it was nothing I could do to help him. Consequently, it is a sad day in America that I served my country since I was 18 years old, and yet, my father had no medical staff including doctors to care enough to let me save my father’s life by answering my pleas to transfer him to the emergency room across the street. I ask how can they continue to receive federal and state funds? These doctors and medical staff took an oath to save lives so how could they just stand by and let my precious beloved father die for no good reason?  

This is not an attack on all medical professionals or providers, and, it is in my personal opinion that there are excellent hospitals, doctors, nurses and other medical staff who give quality care to all their patients. However, at Kindred Rehabilitation Hospital my father did not receive the quality lifesaving treatment that he deserved. [Sergeant Kericia E. Smith, United States Army, and Army Reserve; Disabled Veteran; Face to Face Interview, Thursday, September 15, 2016; 4:30 p.m.].

This is a heartbreaking and touching story. Conversely, as I was writing and recounting her pain it is easy to visualize this scene taking place in the hospital, because for those of us who have lost a parent or both parents we understand grief– but not this way. Moreover, perhaps there is someone who can attest to this type trauma, or, those people who have experienced the trauma firsthand and know the full picture. Hence, here I will recount to highlight some of the facts Sergeant Smith mentioned so that we all will understand better the plight Sergeant Smith and her dad suffered at the hand of medical professionals who take an oath to save the lives of the people they treat.

A Brief Background Check of Kindred Rehabilitation Hospitals

Renamed Kindred Healthcare in 2001–Vencor (1998), was one of the nation’s most prominent healthcare companies, however, the company has a shady and elusive past and is due for a background check if you are considering this source for your loved ones. Kindred Healthcare Corporation is the largest healthcare company in the United States with a net worth of $7 billion (See: Kindred Hospital Annual Reports). Accordingly, Kindred Healthcare works under a plethora of venues, such as, post-acute services; including, transitional hospital care, short-term rehabilitation, skilled nursing, home health, long-term care, assisted living,  nursing facilities, palliative care and hospice.

Here is a breakdown of events:

Frederick D. Smith (October 11, 1937 - May 16, 2016)

Frederick D. Smith (October 11, 1937 – May 16, 2016)

   A Last Word from Sergeant Kericia E. Smith

Vencor/Kindred’s long history of wrongdoing seems to always survive and thrive due to Medicare fraud which only adds insult to injury with the loss of my father.  If these Medicare fraud cases were known to the public then our loved ones would be less likely to be put at risk.  Kindred seems to look at ‘profits over patients,’ and our lives are worthless because Kindred medical staff is reckless with our medical care. Additionally, any other business as unethical and abusive would have gone out of business decades ago, yet, Kindred continues to thrive on recklessly committing Medicare fraud. 

Why has the Department of Justice not been more aggressive at informing the public about Kindred’s record of bad behavior? It is the case, that Kindred decayed decades ago from the inside out, and this should send a stench up our noses because the carcasses of our loved ones are not collateral damage and the loss of life should cry out for justice. Nevertheless, we are told ‘If you see something to say something!’ Consequently, I did see something, and I said something, but they did absolutely nothing! It is absolutely appalling! Kindred Rehabilitation Hospital had NO Defibrillator!

I am Sergeant Kericia E. Smith and I approve this message—over and out!
[Sergeant Kericia E. Smith, Electronic Communication, September 21, 2016; 5:31p.m.].

Related Articles and Additional Resources

Also see:

Please stay tuned for more detailed information concerning Kindred Healthcare facilities the Tort Reform and Medicaid/Medicare Fraud (False Claims Act).

For more information on Association Of Veteran Women, Incorporated call:

Sergeant Kericia E. Smith, (817)461-5116. Or send an email to: aovwinc@aol.com

 

kayla-dailey__picKayla Dailey, is a prolific writer whose aspirations include hope of encouraging those who face trials and difficulties in life through the written word. As a student of the word she writes, Kayla has earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from Ashford University, and holds, a Master of Arts Degree in Organizational Management with specialty in Public Administration. Mrs. Dailey is an advocate for civic and community building issues, African American liberties, equal employment, and now veterans and their families; as well as, advocacy against domestic violence for women, children, abortion and other issues people face.  

© Copyright 2016. The Dailey Grind. All Rights Reserved.

Purifying Mind Body & Spirit to Help

download (10)“One of the things I learnt when I was negotiating was that until I changed myself I could not change others”—Nelson Mandela

That is a true and powerful statement, and I say that because it has taken me many years to get to the point of seeing myself as a “good work” started. That good work has only been made a reality because of my changed mind. I changed my mind about myself, and have tried to live down what other people think about me and develop some kind of moral compass and believe in (not only) what I aspire to help with, but also what I believe will help. In essence, I can only help with what I am allowing (or have allowed) my self to get help with.

If I have not mentioned that I am in counseling, and understand that some people might believe that sharing such personal information is telling ones business. However, I do not see it like that, but do see if I cannot get help then I cannot help anyone, then it is a weakness on my part.

For one thing, I have to ask myself if I aspire to help women then how can I do that if I cannot go and bear all to become free to help? I cannot say that I will help women in whatever manner if I am still angry, or unforgiving, or bogged down with grief. So then, I seek to help myself, thereby, changing myself to become a woman who can help. Therefore, if I aspire to help in any area, such as women need that “to Innovate, Inform, Influence, Inspire” (The Dailey Grind, 2016) then I must change myself. Additionally, some situations we live out change us, some challenge us; however, the most change comes when we do introspection to look deeply into what we need to work [out] within us to save ourselves first.

Concerning our work, and the changes we seek to make, and or, those we work with—or participants. I must say that I cannot hear a team, work with a group if I have issues to address and that are unmet. I believe this is why there are colleagues who do not work well together in collaboration, or are not well matched in the negotiation stage. Consequently, many people might come together for a cause but coming together requires as Spiro (2011) mentions, ‘that leaders be ready’, and goes back to me and counseling to ‘prepare’ myself for the work.

Probably the change I seek is more deeper rooted than many because (like those I help) I speak from a place I have lived already—a place from the heart of the change. Hence, perhaps it would be well to gather other ideas and opinions during the planning. For example, assessing the readiness of the individuals involved” as mentioned Spiro (2011) who asked if people were on the same page concerning the change, or rather, do people have prior experience with functionally illiterate clients? Have they been in the past functionally illiterate? “Do participants speak the same language when it comes to the strategy? Not only the same words, but the same meaning? (26). So what does my team bring with them to the planning of this action?

Are shared values supported? In essence, even those learners, those affected –are all speaking the same language? Ultimately, one should ask how else are we going to help alleviate and rescue the people who are suffering whether in the class or in life outside of the classroom in our every day lives.

Reference
Spiro, J. (2011). Leading change step-by-step: Tactics, tools, and tales. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.TEAME-Green-Teabags_banner

Technology in the Classroom|Part III-Integrating Multimedia

To Read: Part I, Part II

Integrating Multimedia

Integrating Multimedia slide show

Integrating Multimedia slide show

Concerning videos and other materials brought into the classroom an instructor has need to watch or read them first to make sure the content of the work is age appropriate for their learners. Since our class is tenth grade all materials and sites are relevant to the context of the prompts and are made age appropriate by making mandatory sites available through research beforehand and adding those sites to the prompt also give a wealth of information to the student. Consequently, as a teacher without the foresight that YouTube can also be filled with racism and hateful remarks young researchers and learners can become discouraged.

Therefore, keyword searches may be discouraged in the classroom for these prompts which is a disadvantage. Hence, questions are to be considered when video is integrated into lesson planning. According to the Sociological Cinema (2012), teacher should determine relevance, and ask does the material advance learning? Does the material illustrate or amplify? There is also need to evaluate it, according to author, that is, does it meet student, university, or community standards? Is it offensive? Is it disparaging? Is the material disturbing? (Sociological Cinema, 2012).

Other important needs to address when incorporating video in the lesson are venue, video time, and how to test on the subject of watched outside of the classroom.
Other challenges of integrating technology in the learning environment
It may seem less of a challenge to design and or implement a technology based lesson if one is a per subject teacher [i.e, history teacher], but what about the homeschool parent as teacher, or homeschool teachers who instruct on every topic? Will parents have a greater chance of integrating technology into their lessons if they use it? Yes, they will but parents need to learn the what, when, how and why of technology and then move on to the integration more so than the teachers in a public school classroom. Hence, there remains a challenge of teaching out of ignorance. It is the case, that there are still homes that are not technology literate other than using the phone to talk.

The goal then is to use technology at home as a teaching, and learning tool and if one teaches elsewhere then they too are more likely to integrate that literacy of technology. In an Edutopia (2009) article, Technology Integration begins at home the author wrote:

At home — that’s my answer. You see, I think many educators are more apt to carry technology use over from their personal lives into their professional ones than to take it on as a new part of their job. A teacher who uses a digital camera to share images of a home remodel as email attachments with her grown children has begun to understand the power of digital communication in a personal way. A teacher who uses online resources to plan a trip has begun to understand the power of the Web in answering any question one is curious enough about to ask. Once they experience the power and ease of current digital photography or Web-based research in their personal lives, the stage is set for helping them bring technology into their classroom teaching (Edutopia, 2009, para.4)

Conclusion
The integration or use of the internet in the classroom promotes literacy of research, use of browsers and URL’s while invoking critical and logical thinking among all personalities of learners. The use of mind mapping tools allows students to access subjects and or concepts through step by step capabilities, and allow additional material and thought to be added born from that. The use of PowerPoint or presentations through technology in the classroom promote fun, engagement, and graphics to what could originally be a bland topic; and allow, freedom of expression which can help educators to see what the student knows. The use of internet video as a technology in the classroom can be used to introduce subject content, and thus, eliminate boring or uninteresting lectures.
Related Articles & Suggested Readings
United Nations Educations, Scientific and Cultural Organization 
Technology Integration Begins at Home
Harnack, A & Kleppinger, E., (1997). Online! A Reference Guide to Using Internet Sources. St. Martin’s Press, Inc. New York, NY. ISBN: 0-312-15023
Lever-Duffy, J. & McDonald, J. B. (2015). Teaching and learning with technology (5th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education
What is Mind Mapping? (and How to Get Started Immediately)
Multiple Intelligences
The Arab Muslim Slave Trade of Africans 
The African Slave Trade and the Middle Passage 
Organization of the Slave Trade
The Transatlantic Slave Trade Database
PowerPoint in the Classroom 
 Best Practices for Using Video in the Classroom 
Effective Use of PowerPoint 
 Islam: Empire of Faith [Documentary] 
 Creating Mind Maps from Google Docs

Your Sunday Bread: There’s a Stranger in the House!

374Ladies,

There’s a stranger in the house!

We cannot get anymore righteous than what the bible says which denotes that our thinking must change, and the way that it does is spiritually; otherwise, we would have been into this truth long ago. Yahuah is truth, his word never changes even when we thought we were living the right way.

This poses a question then–what to do with the people left behind? Suddenly since the light has shone on us then we can see clearly that the light is shining and does shine on every single person place and thing.

Light has come—this message is gonna tear you up, or fix you up and its gonna be a choice to stay or go.

“But know this, that in the last days hard times shall come. For men shall be lovers of [them] self, lovers of silver, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, thankless, wrongdoers, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self control, fierce, haters of good, betrayers, reckless, puffed up, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of Elohim, having a form of reverence but denying its power. And from these turn away. For among them are those who creep in into the household and captivate silly women loaded down with sins [unconfessed], led away by various lusts always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of truth.” (2 Timothy 3:1-7).

First let me say that these women are not outside the church only they are in it. Yes, this passage is speaking of the so called spirtual woman, and I add Christian woman whose eyes have not been opened. We are a silly lot, before truth comes –always learning but never seeing truth of what we learn. I have been silly, and if my eyes had not opened I could not say this. Silly women, are the most gullible women and the bible toting men know it.

Just men in general understand silly women, but bible toting women see ourselves as spiritual, that is we dress the part, make up the part, preach the part and and have not the spirit of truth to distinguish ourselves.

Ok we fell for a charmer–god talking man who knows nothing of truth, but to look good, preach good, and beyond that just another man.

Tote that bible baby you look good to me when I am ASLEEP. WAKE UP LADIES!

We fall for the good job, hell some of us don’t expect much but a good lay down and all is well. I use to be that woman until —truth came and now I don’t care what a man has got if the most important is missing…where is Yahuah and where is truth?

If Yah is missing we get the above description lovers of self, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of Elohim. Love talk but love is not genuine.

I don’t know about you but that man is not worth it. You will not get this message until you wake up, or if you are woke take caution

Government Growth: The Poor & Needy v. Rich & Greedy

The Food Stamp Program, as an area for growth [for me] would be essential. However, there seems to be a problem with feeding the nation’s poor, and there too is a problem when government cares more for war than feeding their own hungry people.

Today, according to the U.S. Census Bureau for the 2014 America’s Families and Living Arrangements table package includes:

Children living with two foreign-born parents: 38 percent have at least one foreign-born parent (28.3 million), and 10 percent live with a grandparent (7.4 million), 79 percent live with at least one sibling (58.5 million), 15 percent have a stay-at-home mother (10.8 million), and 0.6 percent have a stay-at-home father (420,000), 24 percent of children live with at least one foreign-born parent (18.1 million), Less than half (48 percent) of households today are married couples, down from 76 percent in 1940–  which costs an estimated $74.1 billion per year [US Census Bureau].

 I believe a certain proportion of society has been used as a scapegoat here.

 The reason the growth or expansion by government in the area is the existence of poor people, people working and still at poverty level, and more people coming into the country without means. It is the case, that whether black, white, Hispanic or some other people –there are poor people and some more so than others. Additionally, some have found themselves with and suddenly without because work ran out. Moreover, the fact that people need food, water, clean air—food being considered a common instead of public good is puzzling. For example, food is privatized which means a famer own the land which produces and sales that to private or corporate operations to sell to the public, and essentially, has taken even the right to grow food away from the public, that is, less people own land to grow their food, less people are educated to do so and so forth. Yet, to food is not considered a public good, but a need.

Jose Luis Vevero Pol (2014) wrote:

Air, water, and food are the three essential natural resources we human beings need to survive. Air is basically regarded as a public good. Water used to be considered a global public good up to the mid-20th century, but its very nature is highly disputed nowadays. However, usually we only pay for the purification and transportation of water. And then we have food, the third essential natural resource. The way we consider food has evolved since the 18th century, when the commons (land common to all) in Europe were gradually enclosed and transformed into privatized goods, either owned by private individuals or by the state or church. Communal property, that is customarily and legally considered as inalienable, indivisible, irreversible, not available for sale, and which cannot be encumbered or mortgaged, was transformed into private or public property. Since then, an increasing number of food production systems, such as wild fruits, coastal seafood areas, or oceanic fish stocks, have been privatized. This means that unless you have entitlements, such as proprietary rights or legal authorization, it’s almost impossible to get food freely from anywhere (Vevero Pol, 2014, para. 2).

Well, if people are poor and cannot buy their own food then this becomes a public problem. Consequently, it becomes a public problem when people are not well educated, are well educated, or in general cannot feed their families on minimum wage, as Lee, Johnson & Joyce (2008) stated the “Government responses to the demands of society” (Lee, 32) which says national hunger is a governmental issue. There is government concern as well when new people come into the land, as like immigration. Understandably, children whether natural or foreign have needed to be fed so the demand of the government to step in is broad covering healthcare and education over the importance of people eating? How can this be?

I agree with healthcare, but I do not agree with the public educational system in this country because it is not a fair one (Lee, 33). However, it’s a choice for parents to send their children there—still it is lacking for a proportionate number of students.

Concerning the FSP, however, government is local [i.e., handled by state] but there is a problem when senators during budget cuts decide that people need less food per month so the money can be placed somewhere else. Perhaps, those with the knife can spend a few days not knowing when they will eat next and see how that works for them.

That said, knowing America’s crooked politicians they will probably cheat and have someone sneaking them food while they lie and pretend they have been starving.

 

Related Articles

 One in Five Children Receive Food Stamps, Census Bureau Reports 

Why Isn’t Food a Public Good? 

A Call to Amendment: No Child Left Behind Act of 2001

No_Child_Left_Behind_Act

Overview

The No Child Left behind Act of 2001, established during the Bush administration would ensure that all children receive fair and equal access to quality education. More specifically, in 2002, the policy required that all states test their students in reading, and math starting from grades three through grade eight, and again when the student reached high school level where students were to meet or exceed reading and math requirements. In addition, the act would help close the gap of achievement for students [according to the United States Department of Education] by providing quality education where focus was on (a) accountability and assurance to disadvantaged children, (b) flexibility that allowed federal funds to be used to improve student achievement, (c) research based education which placed emphasis on programs and practices that proved effective through scientific research, and (d) parent options which provided choices for Title 1 school parents (No Child Left Behind Act 2001). However, at present, the policy though well written has not taken shape, and neither has there been offered relief to support all students for which the policy was created other than to transfer a student passing from the school where the environment has become academically unsafe. Moreover, because of racial disparities and economic conditions such as poverty in districts the children are further subjugated to even poorer learning environments where there are meager classroom materials and less than adequate instruction. Therefore, this article will propose change to the current policy,  an amendment;  along with, recommendations to abolish areas where the policy has been breached by providing information which is overlooked and or ignored in current more up to date research concerning the No Child Left Behind Act overall.

Problems with Current Policy

Firstly, there are a number of reoccurring problems with standard testing as it pertains to the NCLB Act, and these must be dealt with to ensure that all students taking the exam have equal success. It is the case, that nearly every child entering the public school system [particularly] among the African American and Hispanic students exhibit ongoing failure even while there is instruction for the same.  Hence, the occurrence of such failure among the students would beg the question to ask is it really a fact that students are dumb or dumbed down?  Reportedly, blacks currently score lower on vocabulary, reading and math tests; including, measurement of aptitude and intelligence than European Americans, and the authors stated that “On some tests the typical American black still scores below 75 percent of the American whites on the same test (Jencks & Phillips, 1998, para.1). Accordingly, teachers/educators are required to ‘teach’ the test rather than teaching regular curriculum that stimulates the intellect, or creativity in the student. It is the case that much of the school year is taken over with this type programing, and the morale of both students and educators is low because of failure to pass the test. Hence, armed with this information the premise of reauthorization of the act is of no regard. Consequently, the premise of reauthorization only acts to restore previously enacted documents which to date have failed to yield positive results. As a result, the failure of the practice in testing students has not fulfilled the element of improved research. Therefore, a total amendment, and or more acceptable replacement is needed.

Secondly, the promise to close the achievement gap as enacted by law has failed, and reportedly, the gap has not been lessoned for years. According to a New York Times (2009) article, “’No Child’ Law is not Closing the Racial Gap”, it is apparent there has not been an improvement in years.

Sam Dillion (2009) wrote:

Between the year 2004 and 2009 when the article was written that even though black and Hispanic elementary, middle and high school students all scored much higher on the federal test than three decades ago most of the gains made were not recent but during the desegregation efforts of the 1970s and 80s and was well before the No Child law which in the official description admonishes to close the achievement gap (Dillon, 2009, para. 3).

The Official Description

SEC. 1. SHORT TITLE

Begun and held at the City of Washington on Wednesday, the third day of January, two thousand and one.

An Act

To close the achievement gap with accountability, flexibility, and choice, so that no child is left behind. Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled [No Child Left Section 1].

According to the Center of Education Policy (as reported by USA Today), there are 43,000 schools in the US that fail, or have failed which means 48 percent of students have made no progress since the enactment of the law. This information is troubling, because the only relief noticeable to parents is the opportunity once a child fails to transfer to a district passing. Hence, this too brings problems added to problems when transportation becomes a problem. Nevertheless, the report is telling that in Wisconsin (for example) the failure was extremely low at 11 percent. In explanation, of the failed standards for the federal exam policymakers have predicted failure rates of 82 percent, however, there are claims as well that the statistics are in error. In essence, to keep with the premise of requirement by law that every student perform at grade level by the year 2014 is impossible and has failed according to some educators (USA Today, 2014, para.1).

Thirdly, there is variance in the degree of difficulty as it pertains to the standardized testing. For example, in some school districts there are different tests given. In the USA Today article there is information given to that effect. The authors wrote, “State’s scores varied widely”. For example, in Georgia, 27% of schools did not meet targets, compared to 81% in Massachusetts and 16% in Kansas” In addition, the authors stated that even state officials argue that the act is do for rewrite, and further that officials offer little hope when lawmakers cannot agree on how to fix the problem of differences in difficulty of the testing between state, or, to amend it (USA Today, 2014, para. 5). Consequently, there are several reasons given for the variant in difficulty in certain states:

  1. Immigrant students
  2. Low income students, and
  3. State requirement to raise expectation in the number of students who pass each year (USA Today, 2015, para.6).

As a result, of these facts, the essence of the federal law which is intended to close the achievement gap by realizing equal achievement with regard to students at disadvantage has failed and is biased.

The Violation of Civil Rights is a Violation of Ethics

Fourthly, educators across the nation are seeming at their wits end and are of great travail concerning the premise of federal testing calling the test biased, however, advocates of civil rights concerning the original intent offer justice and equality as the Department of Education pronounced that biased testing is a civil rights issue and an ethical one as well. In an article, “Is it a student’s civil right to take a federally mandated standardized test?” author, Lyndsey Layton (2015) wrote:

Removing the requirement for annual testing would be a devastating step backward, for it is very hard to make sure our education system is serving every child well when we don’t have reliable, comparable achievement data on every child every year,” Kati Haycock, president of the Education Trust, said in recent testimony before the Senate education panel. Her group joined 20 civil rights organizations to lobby Congress to keep the requirement to test all children each year in math and ­reading (Layton, 2015, para. 4).

However, is this statement a fair assumption to say that the removal of the federal test is against civil rights? Conversely, teachers agree that teaching the test while forsaking the art of creativity and free expression surely takes away human rights of the student to think for themselves.

In an interview, a former educator and social worker detailed what many instructors go through in teaching and testing. During her interview, Jacqueline James (2015) was asked to (a) Recount factors of her work, (b) Factors leading to the testing being biased in her opinion, (c) Why she left the school system, (d) What the morale was like for students and faculty, and (e) Suggestion of changes that would contribute to the law.

She wrote:

Hello Everyone,

My name is Jacqueline Jordan. I have five years experience in the school system, including, elementary, middle and high school education. I held positions as substitute teacher, assistant and as a social worker. I also hold a Bachelor of Social Science with a minor in Education, and a Master of Education with a minor in Public Policy; as well as, a Master of Organizational Management.

As an educator, some of the main factors that were attributed to our work was tied to testing. Hence, the main issues were that I and other educators were frustrated that our students’ performance was not meeting expectations. Conversely, exam scores were lower than previous years and we spent many days and months trying to figure out why our students were struggling, and after interviewing students in their perspective classes and schools we were told that they did not understand the question. Therefore, it was determined that the questions on the tests had nothing in common with how certain groups of children think or rationalize.

I feel the testing is biased due to the overall testing results for students who otherwise pass their assignment during the entire school year only to take the test and fail. Moreover, the testing is set for certain populations of students who may be at a disadvantage. Hence, from my experience many racial minorities struggle to pass the test because of no relation to what they have learned, and neither to their personal lives. This too, is one of the reasons I left the district, because I feel it is not fair to our minority students.

Honestly speaking, the morale for the majority of faculty was low because of dissatisfaction in the work. Consequently, low morale among the faculty was the reason for high turnover in staff and low performance, and frankly, from my viewpoint the student morale was lower due to many not being able to understand, nor, were they accurately understand the assignments given. Hence, this occurrence caused behavioral issues, students skipping class, incomplete assignments and or unfocused students without the ability to engage. Therefore, all this overall also caused parents to feel as if their children were not being effectively taught by the school system which added to all parties being frustrated—parents, students and faculty. In general, the environment for most students was stressful due to non-relational material.

There are quite a few areas to policy and procedures that I would like to see amended:

  1. Teachers should not have to teach from a manual and or for a test.
  2. The material learned should be based on real world solutions.
  3. The students success and being promoted should not be based on the one test, especially when the student works diligently throughout the year to pass their assignments otherwise (Jacqueline Jordan, interview by Kayla Daily, October, 11, 2015, 4:19 p.m., interview Electronic Communication).

Dispelling Myths

A fifth reason, brings attention to a telling fact of how the academic success of students may be hampered is the myth that black students are not as smart as white or non black students, and this assumption may certainly seem realistic if one places judgement in relation to test scores, however, one would have something other than assumption to rely on. Jencks & Phillips (1998) argued that theorists promote the idea that low scores are attached to family background and or family environment which can be taken generally to say that all black people are dumb, unable to learn, and thus, unable these factors in turn can affect; or rather, do affect test scoring.

The authors explained:

In 1978 the Nigerian anthropologist John Ogbu suggested that cast-like minorities throughout the world tended to do poorly in school, even when they were visually indistinguishable from the majority. Later, Ogbu argued that because blacks had such limited opportunities in America, they developed an ‘oppositional’ culture that equated academic success with ‘acting white’ (Jencks & Phillips, 1998, p.6, para.4).

In general, the rejection of assumptive views tend to hide bias, or rather lend to biased thinking, and along with the awareness that there may bias lurking amidst the exams one can also be aware that text books containing the answers are not made available to the impoverished districts. In her interview, Jacqueline James (2015) alluded to that fact saying that ‘the children’ said they did not understand the questions (James, 2015). Hence, this begs the question that asks if the children do not understand even though the educators are teaching the tests then there is more than an agenda set up for their fail, and why is there a manual to teach from instead of a book? Could it be that the curriculum for the exam is not being taught? In this instance, a proposed plan for a policy amendment or rewrite is simple, either stop the federal exam or make the materials needed for the exam available to all students everywhere. In other words, there is no gap if there is not one continually created. Accordingly, the US Department of Education has promised equal access to education for all students. Hence, if one is to support the breach in civil rights as advocacy outlines then one would need to consider the evidence presented speaking of no access to testing materials equally, and the propensity that the teachers are given manual over the actual textbook. Therefore, the premise of testing as a civil right has been breached and has failed, because not only are teachers hindered but there is pressure for them to teach what they do not know may be the wrong material.

The No Child Left behind Act is a Breach of Budgeting

In an article, there is evidence that federal funding may be misappropriated. Hence, with funding and budget cuts so steep there must be need to look further into the matter. It is the case, that “Prior to 2001 and the implementation of the law that appropriations went up only $3 billion per year”, however, after are up 64% according to a CBS News report. Elizabeth Harrington (2011) wrote that from the years 2000 to 2001 the appropriation rate increased by 9%. However, after implementation of the program appropriations were up to 33% which is $42 billion (2001) and climbed to $56.2 billion (2002). Hence, it is notable that more funds are spent yearly, yet, the children fail more so even with all the programming.

Here is a further breakdown of expenditures according to CBS News (2011) report:

  • 1997 – $33.52 billion
  • 1998 – $35.67 billion
  • 1999 – $38.31 billion
  • 2000 – $38.44 billion
  • 2001 – $42.06 billion
  • 2002 – $56.17 billion
  • 2003 – $63.25 billion
  • 2004 – $67.21 billion
  • 2005 – $71.47 billion
  • 2006 – $100.04 billion (due to a jump in Federal Family Education Loans)
  • 2007 – $67.12 billion
  • 2008 – $68.57 billion
  • 2009 – $138.00 billion (regular spending of $39.88 billion plus $98.23 billion under the Recovery Act)
  • 2010 – $63.00 billion (Harrington, 2011, para.4).

There is no need to address the overall budget implemented concerning the NCLB when there is evidence of an astronomical amount of federal dollars spent even while the children fail at a rapid pace yearly. Hence, this begs the question where does the money really go? There is no reauthorization needed, no restore of the same disparaging occurrence as it relates to the law. That said, policymakers must address these issues immediately and reconsider their programming is not working and is wasting away tax payer dollars.

Lips & Fienberg (2007) wrote, that “Federally funded full time employees in state education agencies worked to implement education programs three times more than the number of employees working at the Department of Education (Lips & Fienberg, 2007, para. 3). Hence, here are workers making money for programing that is no good when the consideration should be on the text books, and other needed materials that make for a successful test score. There has already been evidence brought that the children understand that they do not understand the questions on the test when they have worked all year to learn. In essence, more money should be spent in the school to pay the districts’ teachers, and less money for programming that does not work. Therefore, the only cut to budget should state in policy to quit bogus federal government expenditures, because after all paying the teachers and funding the school so that all is equal access is the mission of NCLB.

Summary

The NCLB has failed to do what it was created to do in closing the achievement gap academically, because the children still fail and is in breach of promise. There is variance in the degree of difficulty involving the exam across states which promotes the premise of biased testing standards and is in breach of policy as the occurrence does not promote equality; and, which leads to a breach of civil rights.  The academic success of students has been hampered severely because of myths that non whites cannot learn as favorably as white students. Hence, this thought is promoted further as it relates to tests scores more favorable to the white students. There is evidence that federal budget as it pertains to NCLB may be misappropriated where money is spent implementing programs rather than actual research to find error in testing.

Conclusion

Finally, as it pertains to amendment the NCLB has left a disparaging mood among educators across the nation to adamantly lift up a cry out for those who stand to lose more from standardized testing. It is the case that the states have failed the students of which the need for educational equality is upheld. Hence, for blacks and other minorities who will take their place in the world, that is,  a world in need of equality where their fate should not be determined by a test. Hence, the premise of education and all its characteristics should say in policy all is equal, and not according to multiple choice, unless the multiples of choices are discerned from a creative mind with the ability to think its way through the problems presented with logic and sound reasoning. Policy makers should then, take the evidence presented here; along with, the research provided to make sound judgments and see that what is happening in the school system is questionable, and is not equal access as the law is written. Rewrite it then, make it plain to all that you mean what you say is the cry of all who speak of civil rights, on the streets and now in education. Notably, change will come—with an equal policy that truly stands with all accepted as equal.

Related Articles  

Why Poor Schools Can’t Win at Standardized Testing

Not Child Left Behind is not Closing a Racial Gap

Education Spending Up 64% Under No Child Left Behind But Test Scores Improve Little

The Black-White Test Score Gap. CHAPTER ONE  

The Administrative Burden of No Child Left Behind 

Is it a student’s civil right to take a federally mandated standardized test?

Report: Half of US Schools Fail Federal Standards

How No Child Left Behind Benefits African Americans